Dr. Saad Khalid Niaz reminds the Govt. of frontline health workers contribution during Covid Pandemic

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Presentation of Civil Awards on Independence Day
Dr. Saad Khalid Niaz reminds the
Govt. of frontline health workers
contribution during Covid Pandemic

KARACHI: Dr. Saad Khalid Niaz an eminent gastroenterologist of the country deserves to be commended for taking the initiative to remind the government of selfless devoted and dedicated services by the frontline health workers during the current Covid Pandemic in which two hundred forty eight doctors and - allied healthcare workers have lost lives looking after the Covid patients. They have all been ignored while selecting people for Civil Awards announced on the Independence Day. He has even announced that if the government fails to recognize their services, he himself might return the Civil Award which was presented to him a few years ago.

Dr. Saad Khalid Niaz, it may be mentioned here is a very busy practitioner in the private sector but he has been working in honorary capacity at Civil Hospital Karachi with Prof. Saeed Qureshi for the last many years looking after GI patients besides teaching and training of postgraduates. Prof. Saeed Qureshi had established this state of the art GI unit with donations and funding from government and this unit has been performing all sort of complicated sophisticated GI procedures free of cost which has been a great help for the poor patients. It was in recognition of his services that the Government had honored him by presenting a Civil Award few years ago.

Among the frontline healthcare professionals who have lost their lives so far while managing Covid patients includes Vice Chancellors of Medical Universities, senior professors, faculty members besides nurses and paramedics. Just clapping for them is not enough, the government needs to take some positive steps to ensure that their families are looked after otherwise the doctors and paramedics will feel dejected and suffer from frustration. In such a situation, one should not expect them to put in their best efforts. Some of these healthcare professionals have even ignored their own and their family member’s health and served the patients beyond the call of their professional duty. As such they need to be encouraged and their services recognized. Dr. Saad Khalid Niaz is also reported to have spoken to the President of Pakistan Dr. Arif Alvi in this regard and conveyed the feelings of the medical profession.

Selection of people from the medical profession for such civil award has often been debated in the medical circles. It is generally felt that except a few deserving ones, most others who are honoured and presented these awards are those praise singers who are very close to the people in the power corridors and this has not changed over the years. Perhaps it was the same reason that Dr. Alaf Khan, a physician par excellence who served for many years and retired as Professor of Medicine from Postgraduate Medical Institute, Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar many years ago had refused to accept the Civil Award for three consecutive years. He felt that being included among those many of whom do not deserve such honours was not a right thing. He being a very honest, upright man, who practiced ethical medicine throughout his professional life never tolerated and accepted unethical behavior from his colleagues and his bosses. He showed exemplary courage at times when not many would dare to stand up and speak and be counted. Such people in the medical profession is a very rare commodity these days.

Members of the medical profession even otherwise these days are faced with confusion and uncertainty due to the health reforms introduced by the government in the field of medical education and healthcare without providing the much needed infrastructure. They look demotivated and some of them are just passing time, many are not at all interested to take any initiative. Unhappy doctors and nurses are bound to affect the quality of not only teaching and training but also patient care.

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